2. The long podlike capsules of Vanilla planifolia, and V. Claviculata, remarkable for their delicate and agreeable odour, for the volatile, odouriferous oil extracted from them; also, the flavoring extract made from the capsules, extensively used in confectionery, perfumery, etc.
As a medicine, vanilla is supposed to possess powers analogous to valerian, while, at the same time, it is far more grateful. Cuban vanilla, a sweet-scented west Indian composite shrub (eupatorium Dalea). Vanilla bean, the long capsule of the vanilla plant. Vanilla grass. Same as holy grass, under Holy.
Origin: NL, fr. Sp. Vainilla, dim. Of Sp. Vaina a sheath, a pod, L. Vagina; because its grains, or seeds, are contained in little pods.